Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Luis Guillermo Vernet, MIT (Sloan)

Luis Guillermo Vernet

MIT, Sloan School of Management

Multicultural, fun-loving optimist who enjoys constant change, life-long learning and double-stuffed Oreos.”

Hometown: Miami, FL

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m a Halloween baby…. Hence the face.

Undergraduate School and Major: George Washington University; International Business

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: JPMorgan Chase; Vice President, Investment Specialist

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? There were two unique elements that really stood out to me about Sloan throughout the business school “search process”: MIT’s close ties with Latin America and Sloan’s integration with the rest of the MIT schools.

As business leaders face ever-growing pressures to anticipate and adapt to disruptive technological forces, Sloan is uniquely positioned to benefit from its close ties with the rest of the MIT schools on campus to develop a curriculum that promotes the highest level of innovative thinking.

Secondly, as a second-generation Venezuelan immigrant, I’ve grown up very aware of my roots and have always looked for opportunities to promote change in the Latin America region. MIT has displayed an unparalleled commitment to Latin America by establishing a physical presence, developing partnerships with academia, industry, and government, while supporting other meaningful activities throughout the region. The fact that MIT’s President is Venezuelan is just the cherry on top.

When you think of MIT, what are the first things that come to mind? How have your experiences with the Sloan program thus far reinforced or upended these early impressions? The first thing that comes to mind when I think of MIT is a bunch of super smart people reinventing the way we lead our lives. When I first joined Sloan, these early impressions were undoubtedly a little intimidating. Although my recent experiences have definitely reinforced those early impressions, I’ve been even more impressed with the level of humility possessed by the very talented people that make part of the community.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Sloan is known to attract humble, curious and incredibly intelligent individuals from all over the world, but the quality that has most surprised me about the classmates I’ve met is their genuine passion: Passion for learning, passion for building deep relationships and passion for achieving their dreams.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment was obtaining the unconditional trust of my clients at J.P. Morgan, while successfully managing and growing a +$1bn book of business in Latin America amid economic and political chaos in the region.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? After six years at J.P. Morgan, I finally started to feel comfortable: every year I was making a little more money, working a little less and eventually starting to feel the learning curve plateauing. I began to crave change and became obsessed with the idea of joining a community with the same interest in learning. After many long conversations and a lot of introspection, I concluded that an MBA would provide me with the opportunity to learn with like-minded individuals from around the world, while helping me build the tools and network to prepare for the next stage of my professional and personal life.

What other MBA programs did you apply to?  HBS, Wharton, LBS, CBS

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? “How would you define a successful life?”

What was the most impact factor in choosing a business school? How did you evaluate fit according to that factor? People. It is cliché for a reason. Programming and location are incredibly important, but at the end of the day the experience is only as good as the people you are surrounded by. It only takes a few conversations with students to get a sense for the overall culture and vibe at each school. I can’t emphasize it enough. Ultimately, I think the admissions teams do an awesome job at identifying the values that they wish their students to possess and reinforcing those by picking the “right” people.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? After I graduated college, my father notified me that he and his [second] wife had decided to start a family. I called him to suggest he was crazy, among other things, and my monologue went something like this: “How could you start from scratch all over again? You’ve already raised three adult children and they’re finally off of your payroll! How could you have another child at this point in your life? Go travel instead!”

Fortunately, his wisdom led him to completely disregard my advice, and within a couple of years I had two new baby sisters. The relationship that ensued between my sisters and me has been replete with defining moments – developing such a close bond with someone so new to the world opened my eyes to life long after I’m here, and made me question the lasting impact of the choices we make today. I imagine this is similar to the feelings many parents encounter after birthing a child. In the absence of my own children, I found a similar source of impetus to make an impact and change the world a little bit for better. These moments also formed my resolve to return to school, and more specifically to a program whose mission is to develop leaders who improve the world.

What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from studying it? My favorite company is Patagonia. Beyond the comfy sweaters, it is actually one of the smartest, most innovative companies in the world and has demonstrated that commercial success doesn’t have to come at the expense of social and environmental considerations. As we plot the course of our professional careers, we could all benefit from learning how this “compassionate capitalism” can lead us to act more responsibly and incorporate strong values into our businesses.

DON’T MISS: Meet MIT Sloan’s MBA Class Of 2022

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